Wednesday, September 20, 2006

New Kenai River Rotary Club hosts Russian Friendship Exchange
Ever since the end of the “Cold War,” building friendships with our western neighbors in Russia has been a goal of Rotary Club members on the Kenai Peninsula. Continuing that tradition the new provisional Kenai River Rotary Club recently hosted their first Russian Friendship Exchange with Rotary Club members from Biysk, Russia. It was the first time to visit the United States for many of the Friendship Exchange members and they were excited to be in Alaska, “We have visited Rotary Clubs from Washington D.C. to New York and now here through out Alaska and we have developed a very good impression through this visit of your country. We understand that we have different ways of economies in our countries and we now are in the middle of an economic revolution in our country, but we are still so much the same in the areas of how we love our families, relatives and neighbors and want a quality of life that protects the environment,” said Alexander Shebalin.

Proudly promoting a smoke free community
They are becoming known as the “Three Smokefree Musketeers,” Janelle Baalke, Jennifer Olendorff, and Pam Howard of the Peninsula Smokefree Partnership. “We have three major goals that we pursue in our health message. Reducing tobacco use and exposure to second hand smoke through education and policy change, preventing the initiation of tobacco use among our youth and adults through education, and promoting quitting and cessation through our quit line and school based programs like NOT and our Tobacco-Free Sports Program,” said Janelle Baalke, project and grant coordinator for the Peninsula Smokefree Partnership. Funds for the group’s efforts are made available in part through the state tobacco tax, “Having a higher rate of tax has reduced a person’s ability to fund their nicotine habit which has increased our quit line calls,” says Baalke. The Quitline is a free 24/7 telephone cessation counseling service that offers help to anyone desiring to kick the tobacco habit, “If you need additional help, Peninsula Smokefree Partnership has several free packets or quit kits to supplement the Quitline services,” added Baalke. According Baalke 1,200 people die every day in the U.S. from smoking or exposure to second hand smoke, “We are very passionate about the issue of second hand smoke and are working on a campaign to create smoke free work places and to help with what is called the gauntlet area, the space around the entrance of a building and where you have to park. The surgeon general has stated that there is no safe level of second hand smoke and that means everyone inhaling second hand smoke is breathing toxic chemicals, 43 of which are known to cause cancer.”

Chevron generously helps kick off 2006 United Way campaign
The 2006 United Way campaign got off to an accelerated start last week when Chris Myers and John Santiago of Chevron USA presented Campaign Chair Sue Carter and executive director Tina Marie Herford with a really big check for $65,000. “Chevron and their employees have been good members of our community for years and years and their generous contribution to get us started is just another way they give back to our community and underscores why it’s so great to live on the Kenai Peninsula,” said Carter.

This season I found myself once again short of time to do all the different types of hunting that is available right here in Alaska. One thing that has constantly irked me is it seems that each year we lose some of our hunting territory which makes it more and more difficult to get your family members out hunting when there just isn’t enough time to travel very far from home. This year I was surprised and almost shocked to see a gate across the Marathon Gas field road just out of Kenai at the intersection of Marathon Road and the north road escape route. A sign on the new gate that was locked said we (us hunters) must contact the Kenai Native Association to get permission to hunt.

“9-11 Generation” invites 1st Responders to lunch at Redoubt
On the fifth anniversary of the September 11th attacks, there were enough emergency response vehicles at Redoubt Elementary School that a passerby might have had cause for concern. However, as the “9-11 Generation” started to school this fall the students and faculty at Redoubt Elementary thought September 11th would be an appropriate day to invite our first responders to lunch, “We were talking one day about what we could do to show our appreciation to all our emergency response professionals and military veterans, so we thought inviting them to lunch would be a way of letting them know that we appreciate what they do and stand ready to do for us on a daily basis,” said Sharon Hale, Library aid at Redoubt Elementary. Most of the students at Redoubt today were so young five years ago that the memory of the 9-11 attacks are not very vivid, “We have emergency responders at the school for presentations very often so all our students have learned to appreciate our first responders and the job they dedicate themselves to do for us,” added Hale.

Festival a success
The Funny River Chamber of Commerce and Community Association would like to extend our appreciation to the following merchants whose generous donations made our festival a great success: Airport Rentals, Kenai Fabric, Stanley Ajo, Kenai River Raven Lodge, AK Legends Adv. Resort, Claudia Knickerbocker, Alaska Hairlines, Ruth Knorr, Alaska Industrial Hardware, Liquidation World, Alaska Propane, Odie’s Bead-It-Shop, Alaska Rubber Stamps, Odom Corp., Alaska USA, Old Gray Mare Antiques, Alyeska Tire & Auto Service, Magic Moments, Amerigas, Linda Miller, Arby’s, Payless Shoes, Auto Spa, Mary Ann Peckard, Bailey’s Furniture, Ray and Ramona Price, Claudia Balough, Frank and Lorrane Rohloff, Bath & Body Boutique, Soldotna Pharmacy, Robert J. Bauder, DMD, Special Delivery, Beemun’s Variety, Speciality Excavating, Bears Den, Spenard Builders Supply, Joan Biegel, Sweeney’s Clothing, Bird Homestead Golf Course, Subway, Bowls by Jessie, Tammy’s Flowers & Gifts, Carrs/Safeway, The Moose is Loose, Collectables, Three Bears, Curves, Tina’s Too Salon, D&M Gifts, Trinity Greenhouse, Donna’s Victorian Gifts, Trustworthy Hardware, Doyle Fuel Service, United Rental, Eyewear Express, Garry and Lojean Tullos, Diane Forgey, Wells Fargo, Frames & Things, Fred Meyer, Funny River Quilters, Ginger’s Restaurant, Bill Godfrey, Diane Gray, Ernie and Diane Haslett, HEA, Home Depot, Homestead on the Hill and Jersey Subs.

Bears need protecting
Thank you for a being a great newspaper and any articles about bears are always well received. As a bear enthusiast and photographer I am concerned about the following. The Board of Game will soon be voting on a very controversial subject, mainly opening bear hunting on Douglas Head, a peninsula southeast of the sanctuary and another area encompassing the Paint River watershed, north of the Sanctuary.

‘Discrimination’ tax gets thumbs down
Everyone in our Kenai Peninsula Borough needs to remember that our assembly is looking to increase only recreational businesses work loads and sales tax substantially in the future? The KPB decided last January that only recreational businesses should be removed from our $25 KPB max tax cap and that only recreational businesses should be forced to both calculate and pay sales tax on a “per person, per day” bases.

Line item makes big difference
Hospice of the Central Peninsula board of directors, volunteers and staff would like to acknowledge our appreciation of Rep. Kurt Olson. His recommendation to add a line item to the state budget to help fund our loan closet will greatly affect our organization and services to this community.

Volunteers dig deep to make day successful
Thanks to everyone who helped make Planting Day at Heritage Place a very productive, successful day. On Aug. 12, staff and community volunteers got together and planted 37 shrubs and eight trees at the grounds of Heritage Place with the goal of providing each resident room with a view of something botanical from their window.

Reader: Behavior not acceptable
Will we be governed by constitutional authority of a vote of the people or “Autocratic Dictum” from Mayor Williams and Mr. Superman?

Senior tax not retired
Residency rules passed by the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly on Sept. 5 that placed new restrictions on senior citizens eligibility for the borough’s unlimited property tax exemption are up for a reconsideration vote at Tuesday’s meeting.

River not especially well treated
One day in July, Jeff King watched aghast as a special fishing event flooded the Kenai River with fishermen, tossing beers across open water and jamming the river with boats.

Mayor to keep tax even
If voters opt to reject Proposition 2 on Oct. 3, the administration is prepared to set the sales tax at the current 2 percent, not the 3 percent the proposition’s defeat would require, Mayor John Williams said Tuesday.

Hide and seek
Peninsula geocachers coordinated their first meet and greet event over the weekend at N 60 29.028, W 151 03.627, also known as the Soldotna Creek Park pavilion.

Peninsula Clarion - News

Peninsula Clarion - News

Kenai to extend smoking ban list
With no opposition from the owners of Alaskalanes bowling center, the city of Kenai is considering adding bowling alleys to the list of establishments where smoking is prohibited.

Support for inlet drilling sought
Attendees at a Kenai Chapter of the Alliance luncheon were encouraged to support the expansion of offshore drilling in Alaska on Tuesday, but those who hoped to leave the luncheon encouraged about Cook Inlet drilling likely left disappointed.

Snow removal, city-promotion top candidates’ concerns
The two of four candidates who showed up for a Soldotna Chamber of Commerce candidate forum Tuesday agreed on all issues except when asked what the city could be doing better.

Agrium granting more jobs?
Agrium Inc. has received $7 million in state grants that could lead to an additional 300 to 350 jobs in North Kenai.

Donald E. ‘Don’ Delk
Kasilof resident Donald E. “Don” Delk died Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2006, at Heritage Place in Soldotna. He was 75.

Naomi ‘Martha’ (Nelson) Knight-Hodson
Soldotna resident Naomi “Martha” (Nelson) Knight-Hodson died Sunday, Sept. 17, 2006, at Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. She was 50.

Naomi ‘Martha’ (Nelson) Knight-Hodson
Soldotna resident Naomi “Martha” (Nelson) Knight - Hodson died Sunday, Sept. 17, 2006, surrounded by family and friends following a 20-month battle with small cell lung cancer at the Central Peninsula General Hospital in Soldotna. She was 50.

Around the Peninsula
Recipes sought Genealogy society to meet Interagency meetings begin Action coalition to meet Strengthening families workshops set Cribbage club begins Builders meeting nailed down Little league meeting set Historical society to host fall fling Fairbanks orchestra to perform Gun club takes aim Mountain View host Title 1 meeting Emergency supplies sought

Around the Peninsula
Kenai library to host Spanish story time Election issues to be discussed Historical society to host fall fling, membership meeting Youth science day slated CPHC board meeting scheduled Breathing seminar planned

Sports Brief
The Nikiski High School volleyball team defeated Seward in four games in a Southcentral Conference match Tuesday in Nikiski.

Practicing like he plays
This season, Soldotna running back Mike Reed has rushed 96 times for 687 yards, good for third on the Kenai Peninsula and 7.2 yards per carry.

Around the District
Free, reduced-cost food programs offered Home-school fellowship planned Aurora Borealis Charter Connections Cook Inlet Academy Grace Lutheran IDEA Kaleidoscope School of Arts and Sciences Kalifornsky Beach Elementary Kenai Central High Kenai Middle Kenaitze Cuya Qyut’anen Head Start Mountain View Elementary Nikiski Middle-High READS Primary Redoubt Elementary Sear Elementary Skyview High Soldotna High School Soldotna Elementary Soldotna Middle Soldotna Montessori Charter Tustumena Elementary Wings Christian Academy

Join the club
How do you get 550 high school students engaged?

With Election Day approaching, it’s time to think about voting
With Election Day drawing nearer for Alaskans (Oct. 3), and the national election coming up in November, I thought it would be a good idea to give some insight on a battle many people have had to fight to have the right to vote, as well as how the white male has had it pretty good in the battle for the vote. There also are decisions that could have changed the history of the United States if it hadn’t been for just one vote. It could give you something to think about, even if you aren’t yet old enough to vote.

BP provides public forum on proposed natural gas pipeline: Kenai Peninsula College
Kenai Peninsula College’s Kenai River Campus will be hosting two informational sessions regarding the proposed natural gas pipeline contract currently being considered by the state of Alaska.

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